The most-watched summer alternative series, “America’s Got Talent,” is set to begin filming its 12th season this month in Los Angeles. Nick Cannon has served as the show’s host since 2009, but he announced last month he was leaving the show after a falling out with the network over a joke told on a Showtime comedy special. Howie Mandel, one of the show’s judges, announced Sunday via Twitter that Tyra Banks has been crowned as Cannon’s replacement.
“Please welcome @TyraBanks to the @NBCAGT family!” Mandel tweeted. “She’s our new host.”
Banks was the host of the long-running “America’s Next Top Model,” which ended its run on The CW after 23 seasons. Banks looks forward to the opportunity to reconnect with a childhood passion.
“Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” Banks stated in a press release. “I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!”
The announcement is expected to bring some closure to the controversy surrounding Cannon’s assertion of his creative freedom. In his special, a racially charged joke employed “NBC” as an acronym including a racial slur. Cannon claimed in a Facebook post that NBC executives threatened to terminate him over the joke.
“After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing news that I was being threatened with termination by Executives because of a comedy special that was only intended to bring communities closer together, I was to be punished for a joke,” Cannon posted.
Simon Cowell, executive producer and creator of the “Got Talent” format, also sits on the judging panel with Heidi Klum and Mel B.
“Welcome to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ family, Tyra!” said Cowell. “This is really exciting.”